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How to get the most out of Black Friday

Christmas shoppers in York

Love it or loathe it, there’s no escaping Black Friday as it becomes an increasingly prominent date in most retailers’ sales schedules. This year, Black Friday falls on 29th November and bargain hunters across the UK will be looking to grab themselves some deals. If you’re venturing to the shops, here’s our guide on getting the most out of the day and avoiding shopping stress!

Do your research 
You really don’t want to be running aimlessly from one shop to the next, unsure about what you want or where to get it. A few days before you head out to the shops, do some research. Firstly, make a list of things that you would like to get, for example, a new winter coat, games consoles for the kids, a kitchen mixer, perfume for Mum, etc. Then go online and have a look at the brands or items you’re interested in. Check out the reviews of the products and make a note of the current price. This will all come in useful on the day!

Make friends with the retailers
Next, make a note of the retailers that sell the items you’re interested in. Sign up to their email updates or follow their social media pages. They will keep you in the loop about the products that are likely to be involved in their Black Friday promotions. Use all this information to come up with a hit list.

Don’t get stung on parking fees
Savvy shoppers book trains for Black Friday. Going by train is a far less stressful alternative to driving into town, fighting for the last parking space and then spending an extortionate amount on parking for the privilege. If you’re looking for cheap train travel, you can make good savings if you journey during off-peak train times, which are generally between 9.30 and 15.30 on weekdays and after 19.15.  

Don’t make impulse decisions
Head into the shops armed with your hit list and don’t stray from it. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and buy something that seems too good a deal to ignore. Back home, that juicer you thought you would use every day, or those boots in a colour you weren’t sure about, are the purchases you’re most likely to regret.

Make sure that you’re actually getting a bargain
Research by Which? found that 87% of the Black Friday deals they investigated were available at the same price or even cheaper at other times of the year. Only 13% of the products they tracked were actually at their cheapest on Black Friday. So how do you know if you’re getting a good deal? 

  • If you’ve done your research, you’ll know the price that the product usually sells for. Some shops will tell you the price history of the product, so make sure to read the price labels before making your decision.  
  • Use your smartphone to cross reference the price of the product in other stores. A quick Google Shopping search will tell how much the item elsewhere, or download an app like PriceSpy, which also tells you the price history of an item, so you can see how much of a discount you’re really getting. 

Don’t let it get to you!
Shopping on one of the busiest days of the year can be taxing. If it’s getting a bit too much, go for a coffee and take a breather. Or zone out of the hustle and bustle by plugging in your earphones and listening to your favourite uplifting music. For endless queue stress, try taking some long, calming breaths – in through the nose and out through the mouth. And finally, if you’re feeling stressed and hassled, just call it a day. Is getting £100 off that HDTV really worth your sanity?

Now that you’re fully prepared for Black Friday, all that’s left to do is charge your smartphone and sharpen those elbows. Good luck!

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